Water Journal : Water Journal April 2015
33 awa News APRIL 2015 water The Ganga and its tributaries cover a distance of 2500kms, from the Himalayas to the sea near Kolkata. The river is primarily monsoon rain-fed rather than snow-fed, so it experiences periods of very low flow levels. The river supports a population of 500 million and, apart from being a source of drinking water, it is also important revered in Indian culture and religion. Sadly, the river not only has very high levels of faecal contamination, but there is also chemical pollution from chromium, lead and mercury, which makes the water highly toxic and even carcinogenic. Many Indians consider the Ganga holy; they must bathe in it at least once in their life and aspire to be cremated along the riverbanks. The Indian Government has recently established the Ganga River Basin Management Plan (GRBMP) to control waste discharge. Considerable funds have been allocated and there are ambitious plans in place – some of which are considered to be too ambitious. The opportunity for the Australian water sector lies more in providing waste treatment technology to the private sector firms discharging industrial waste into the river than in large-scale government projects. These organisations are required to reduce their discharge and are looking for cost-effective solutions. They have the funds to upgrade their treatment facilities and, following on from India Water Week, some executives have already visited Australia to meet with Australian suppliers. India has not always been an easy place to do business – but things are changing. The economy is growing and the private sector has a strong desire to identify appropriate world’s best technology. AWA will continue to seek out opportunities in India and pass these on to our members. international STRENGTHENING THE FINANCIAL AND INVESTMENT STRUCTURES OF VIETNAM’S WATER SECTOR The gap between infrastructure needs and infrastructure funding in Vietnam is anticipated to increase, a situation that is driving the need for increased public-private partnerships (PPPs). The skills, capabilities and products of the Australian water sector are highly relevant to these issues. To support the Vietnam Government’s interests in greater PPPs in water, AWA in collaboration with Broadway Capital Advisory (BCA) harnessed leading Australian experts in the field to build capacity of the Vietnam Ministry of Finance during a study tour in Melbourne and Sydney in March. Rod Naylor from Veolia, and Mike Woolston from Frontier Economics, joined the tour and provided valuable insights on Australia’s water reform journey. Mike offered a rich overview of the regulations, policy drivers and pre-requisites necessary to enable PPPs in Australia, and how these lessons can be transferred to Vietnam. Rod, meanwhile, offered a well-balanced practical insight from Veolia’s experience in managing Australia’s largest PPPs, including the Sydney Desalination Plant and large-scale recycling schemes. AWA is now preparing for a series of workshops in Vietnam to utilise the experiences of Veolia, Frontier and others to build the capacity of the Vietnam Ministry of Finance to regulate for PPPs. aWa program In VIetnam AWA is commencing a water program in Vietnam focusing on strengthening the financial and investment structures of Vietnam’s water sector, supporting trade and business development between the Vietnamese and Australian water sectors, and improving service delivery and utility capacity in the provision of drinking water. There are three long-term expected benefits: • Raising the profile of the Australian water sector’s skills and capabilities in Vietnam and providing a platform for trade and business development between the water sectors of Australia and Vietnam; • Providing opportunities to Australian SMEs, individuals and large corporations to gain valuable experience and new business opportunities in this fast emerging market; and • Improving service delivery and strengthening the financial and investment structures of Vietnam’s water sector to enable it to obtain more direct investment and/or private sector involvement. If you or your organisation are interested in getting involved in the Vietnam program please contact Paul Smith, AWA’s International Manager, at email@example.com or +61 2 9467 8403. The team of Australian water participants at Australian Business Week in India visits the AWA/Austrade stand. The Ganga covers a distance of 2500kms and supports a population of approximately 500 million people.
Water Journal February 2015
Water and CSG